Posted: May 6th, 2009
"We’re already the best band, so there’s really nowhere to go but down."
Interview & Photos by Jordan Joseffer
San Francisco produced plenty of good punk bands back in the day like the Fuck-ups, Urban Assault, Sick Pleasure, and now Warkrime, made up of Brutal Sean, Max Retard, Pat, and Brace Belden. The band’s been playing around the Bay Area for a couple of years, and really stirred things up by offending a lot of people—but at the same time gaining throngs of fans. They aren’t the kind of band you love to hate, you rather love them or you hate them. I caught a few words with the guys.
How’d it start?
Max: Brace and me got the idea to start an ’80s hardcore band in 2003. We called it Brewtality, after beer. We were going to play a show, but the guitarist we had preferred to go see Alkaline Trio so we kicked him out. Then Brace got sent away to Montana for boot camp before we could start another band.
Brace: I escaped from Montana and got back to the city, met up with Max, found Sean and Pat, and started Warkrime with the intent of getting chicks.
Has that worked out?
Max: Of course. I’m up to my neck in trim.
Brace: Yes, oh yes, I had sex with Max’s ex-girlfriend, Holly.
How long were you on the run after you split from boot camp?
Brace: I was running for four months, then I got arrested in Dolores Park because I was wasted.
What happened between the band Born/Dead and you guys?
Max: They got mad because we got in a confrontation at a show. They thought we were using homophobic language and trying to insult people. It all got sorted out.
Brace: It’s all cool with those guys, but a lot of people call us homophobic.
What’s with that?
Max: A lot of politically correct kinds of people have problems with how we act or what we say. I’m tired of it.
Brace: I grew up in San Francisco where there are a lot of gay people. No shit! So what’s wrong with me disliking the people around me? If a guy kisses me, I’ll kiss him back. Whatever. I don’t care if someone’s gay; I hate if someone’s not a punk.
The Bay Area is known for being anti-war and liberal. How do people react when they see the titles of your albums, like Pro-War, Give War a Chance, and Mind Kampf?
Max: People get really offended, but we’re not like Anal Cunt. We’re not just saying stuff to be offensive. All of us are educated; we just get sick of people accepting left-wing attitudes in the Bay Area without thinking about it. We’re trying to make some people think.
Sean: People have this really knee-jerk reaction in the punk scene to views they think might have any traces of the status quo without realizing in the Bay Area, and San Francisco especially, being anti-war doesn’t mean that you are not still a fascist. My parents and my teachers are fucking NPR yuppies, and I doubt many of the SFPD voted for George W Bush. Pat: Someone went to a record shop on Telegraph in Berkeley and broke three of our 7-inches. Max: Everyone knows war sucks; you don’t have to write another song about it.
Anything else musically going on with you guys besides Warkrime?
Brace: I’m in a band called the Barff Boys. I can’t really talk about it, but we have a 45 coming out.
Pat: I’m in Kilgore.
Why have reviews of your music been good, but at the same time say that you seem musically untrained?
Brace: People think that I just scream because I’m some pussy that never learned how to play guitar. It’s not music; it’s an art form. Am I wrong?
Max: You’re not wrong; you’re just an asshole.
Brace: Girls like art and I like girls. Girls don’t like music.
What’s your 12-inch Mind Kampf like? Is it like the 7-inch?
Pat: The most noticeable difference between this record and our 7-inch is that this one is five inches wider.
Max: It’s going to be a lot like our old record; we still have a lot of the same influences. It’s a lot heavier. We’ve all grown as musicians and it reflects that.
What’s in Warkrime’s future?
Max: We’re already the best band, so there’s really nowhere to go but down.